The Eshelman Institute for Innovation typically solicits proposals on an annual basis. However, we recognize that bold, impactful, and disruptive ideas can arise at any time, thus, we encourage faculty and staff to submit these opportunistic proposals to the Institute for consideration.

Opportunistic Proposal Criteria

Like all other proposals submitted to the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, opportunistic proposal must be highly innovative and aim to accelerate change in education, research, and healthcare.

In addition to the established criteria, the following criterion must be met for innovators to submit proposals outside of the annual submission cycle.

  • The idea must be time-sensitive in response to environmental and societal needs and present a unique opportunity that may be lost if not immediately pursued.
  • The innovator must establish that a compelling opportunity is available and that immediate funding is needed to support the proposed work.
  • It is the responsibility of the innovator to justify why the idea must be pursued now rather than through the annual proposal submission cycle in March.

Submitting an Opportunistic Proposal

Submission and review will occur through a four-step process with a turn-around-time of approximately 10 weeks from submission of the Letter of Intent to distribution of the notification of award.

Step 1: Submit a Letter of Intent

Complete a letter of intent using the online form. The letter of intent should address the following:

  • State the innovation and briefly describe the problem it aims to solve.
  • Describe why the innovation is time-sensitive. Justify why the submission cannot wait for the annual submission cycle in March.
  • Indicate the anticipated duration of the proposed project.
  • Indicate the Tier of funding to which you anticipate applying if asked to submit a proposal.
  • Provide tangible deliverables /outcomes of the work.

Step 2: Review of Letter of Intent

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation administrative team will review the Letter of Intent within two weeks of submission. The innovator will be notified within two weeks of submission regarding the decision to advance the Letter of Intent to a full proposal.

Step 3: Submit a Full Proposal

Once notified of the decision to advance the submission of a full proposal, the innovator will have 4 weeks to submit the proposal. Innovators are asked to follow the instructions on the Institute website for submission of a full proposal.

Step 4: Review of Full Proposal

The Institute will follow a review process similar to that of our annual proposal submission cycle. All innovators will be required to pitch to the Institute administrative team and select subject matter experts. Following the pitch, the proposal, along with comments from the pitch, will be shared with the Eshelman Institute for Innovation Steering Board. The Steering Board will review all opportunistic proposals to determine funding. Due to the timeliness of these submissions, it is our goal to notify the innovator within 4 weeks of receipt of the full proposal regarding award decision. This timeline is dependent on review by the Board.